30 Days of PH: My Daughter Lives Life on Her Own Terms

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by BioNews Staff |

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A family photo depicts Cheyanne Lennard with her parents, Tamara and Trent, standing on either side of her. Cheyanne has long, dark hair and is wearing a red blouse. Tamara has short, blonde hair and is wearing a white sweater, and Trent has short, dark hair and is wearing a gray, collared, long-sleeved shirt. They are standing outside in the shade with sunlit trees in the background, and all three are smiling.

From left: Tamara, Cheyanne, and Trent Lennard. (Photo courtesy of Tamara Lennard)

Day 10 of 30

This is Tamara Lennard’s story:

Our daughter, Cheyanne, was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (specifically Eisenmenger syndrome) at the age of 2. She had an unrepaired ventricular septal defect (VSD) that was not closed prior to joining our family through adoption. We had planned to close the VSD in the United States, but the tests leading up to the corrective surgery led us to the PH diagnosis.

While our first few years were tough as we learned to navigate the world of PH and dealt with several hospitalizations due to respiratory and PH-related issues, we decided not to let the medical literature define her timeline. We worked with top doctors in the field and learned to manage her illness. We celebrated test results that showed stabilization and did our best to treat her like any of our other children.

Did we have ups and downs both emotionally and physically? Yes, we did! However, Cheyanne is a warrior and tried everything she could despite physical limitations. We learned to be her best advocate in drama, cheerleading (with rests approved by coaches), choir, orchestra, part-time jobs, and heart camps.

She has lived her life to the fullest and we couldn’t be prouder. Cheyanne is 18 now and attending Baylor University, studying to become a labor and delivery nurse.

We are so thankful for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and all the resources we utilized. We took advantage of attending PH conferences and Cheyanne loved meeting other kids with the same disease, as she could relate to them.

Cheyanne is a PH fighter who decided to live life on her terms, and we continue to marvel at her success.

Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign will publish one story per day for PH Awareness Month in November. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH, or read the full series.

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